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Iranian missiles fired and threats from Trump: The latest as fears of 'World War 3' grow.

US President Donald Trump has called on the world’s major powers to abandon the “defective” Iran nuclear deal, after the country hit back and bombed a base holding American troops.

Iran fired a number of missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US troops yesterday in retaliation for the American strike that killed a top Iranian general last week. No lives were lost.

The hashtag #NoWarWithIran is going viral as tensions continue to escalate and fears of a World War Three rise.

Anti-War Protest In New York
Protests continue as President Trump and Iran remain at loggerheads. Image: Erin Lefevre/NurPhoto via Getty.

Trump said the "time has come" for Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China to dump the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Under the deal, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear programme and allow in international inspectors in return for the easing of economic sanctions.

But at a White House press conference after the retaliatory attack yesterday, Trump said the "very defective JCPOA expires shortly anyway and gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout".

Trump said the US would immediately impose "additional punishing economic sanctions" on Tehran until Iran changes its behaviour, citing the nuclear programme.

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Just hours after Trump's remarks however, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the deal remains the "best way of preventing nuclear proliferation in Iran."

All of this started last week, when Trump authorised the assassination of the second most powerful figure in Iran, general Qassem Soleimani, resulting in the phrase 'World War Three' trending on social media.

Soleimani's convoy was hit by a US air strike at Baghdad airport on Thursday, with Iraqi parliamentary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis also killed. The act was seen by many as an act of war.

"We took action last night to stop a war, we did not take action to start a war," Trump told the world's media on Friday.

"Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel but we caught him in the act and terminated him," he added.

Here's some of the reasoning behind the assassination. Post continues after video.

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Here's the fallout as it stands.

Thousands have marched across the Middle East.

Thousands have marched across Iran and the Middle East burning American flags and chanting "vengeance is coming" and "Down with USA."

Iran declared three days of national mourning after Soleimani's assassination, with men, women and children pictured weeping in the streets and at anti-America protests after his death.

He was a popular - almost heroic figure - amongst conservative Iranians.

Anti-US rally in Tehran
An Iranian woman carries an image of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by a US airstrike in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. Image: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty.

Soleimani was the architect of Tehran's overseas clandestine and military operations as head of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, and the Supreme Leader of Iran has promised that the country will seek revenge for his death.

Protestors stormed the US compound in Baghdad, throwing Molotov cocktails and setting fire to some buildings, and according to the New York Times, embassy personnel were trapped inside the compound while the protest raged.

Protesters Decry Killing Of Iranian General Qasem Souleimani
Iranians take part in an anti-US rally to protest the killings during a US air strike of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Image: Hamid Vakili/NurPhoto via Getty.
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The US is sending 3000 troops into the Middle East.

After the Baghdad embassy was stormed, the United States announced it was sending 3000 soldiers to the Middle East.

"The brigade will deploy to Kuwait as an appropriate and precautionary action in response to increased threat levels against US personnel and facilities, and will assist in reconstituting the reserve," the Pentagon said in a statement.

The soldiers will join about 650 others already deployed in the region, and will stay for about 60 days.

The Iraqi parliament has called on 5,200 US forces in the country to leave, with the Lebanese Hezbollah chief  saying US forces throughout the Middle East are "fair targets."

Anti-war protests are being held around the world.

Protestors have taken to the streets in Washington, New York and London to condemn the actions of the American government.

"No justice, no peace. US out of the Middle East," they yelled, holding signs that read, "Talks not bombs" and "No war on Iran."

Anti-war rally in Washington
Anti-war activists hold banners during a protest. Image: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty.
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In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia is urging restraint and de-escalation in the Middle East confirming that Australia's goal is "a united and stable Iraq."

We have 280 defence force personnel in Iraq as well as diplomatic staff and others, and Morrison is demanding "restraint and a de-escalation of the situation."

Trump isn't backing down.

The US President has issued a stern threat on Twitter writing, "Iran has been nothing but problems for many years. Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level and important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats."

In a separate tweet he added, "the United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World! If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way...and without hesitation!"

Iran has responded with the remark that Trump is just a "terrorist in a suit."

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"Like ISIS, like Hitler, like Genghis, they all hate cultures. He will learn history very soon that NOBODY can defeat 'The Great Iranian Nation and Culture'," tweeted Information and Telecommunications Minister Mohammd Javad Azari-Jahromi.

Funeral stampede kills 50.

Over 50 people were killed and 212 were injured in a stampede that erupted at the funeral procession for Soleimani.

Huge crowds of mourners gathered in Kerman, the home town of the popular Iranian general, when the tragedy occurred.

Initial videos posted online showed people lying lifeless on the road, while others fled up into the hillsides around the city, reported CNN.

Authorities later delayed General Soleimani's burial, citing concerns about the massive crowd that had gathered, the semi-official ISNA news agency said.

Funeral Held For Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani And Others Killed By U.S. Strike
Coffins of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani and others who were killed in Iraq by a US drone strike, are carried on a truck surrounded by mourners during a funeral procession on January 6, 2020. Image: Majid Saeedi/Getty.

The Iranian retaliation.

Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at US military facilities in Iraq in a retaliatory strike.

They attacked at about 2am local time, mere hours after the burial of Soleimani.

As soon as the attack happened Trump tweeted out an almost chipper message: "All is well!"

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Just hours after the missile strikes a Ukrainian airliner crashed in Iran shortly after take-off killing 176 people. There is no evidence that the two incidents are linked.

But several airlines have announced they are avoiding both Iranian and Iraqi airspace amid the rising tension.

Is there a history to consider?

There's been a toxic relationship between the US and Iran for four decades.

In 1979, an Islamic Revolution ousted a West-backed monarchy in Tehran after the US embassy was stormed and diplomats held hostage for more than 14 months.

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The following year, the US supported Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's war against Iran the following year.

In 2003 an American led invasion toppled Hussein and they've have been facing off with Iran-aligned militias ever since. In 2003, America also accused Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons and helped push international sanctions on Iran in 2006.

What now? Are we headed towards World War Three?

In the hours after the assassination "World War III" was trending on Twitter.

Also trending was the phrase "Wag the Dog," referencing the 1997 movie that conjured up the notion of the president trying to distract from scandal (aka, the impeachment) by spreading news of overseas conflict.


The fear was so quick and so widespread, the website for the Selective Service System, the independent government agency that has a database of Americans eligible for a potential draft, crashed.

In terms of what's happened since the attacks, the Iranian government has indicated it will roll back its commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers.

"Iran will continue its nuclear enrichment with no limitations and based on its technical needs," a statement read out on Iranian state TV cited. The country is however going to continue its co-operation with the UN nuclear watchdog.

From America's side, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has further explained the President's decisions in a round of TV interviews.

He said the US administration would have been "culpably negligent" in its duty to the United States if it hadn't killed Soleimani adding that it was "the right decision."

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But despite these claims, Trump doesn't want war.

Protesters Decry Killing Of Iranian General Qasem Souleimani
Protesters burn flags as people demonstrate after the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qasem Soleimani Image: Majid Saeedi/Getty.

"I want to have peace. I like peace, and Iran should want to have peace more than anybody," he told reporters.

Shadow British Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry has told Sky a conflict with Tehran could cause losses "10 to 15 times worse" than the war in Iraq.

But while calls from many are calling the killing of Soleimani a "declaration of war," there is also a lot of argument against the inevitability of a World War Three.

The BBC reports, "this will not prompt World War Three. The key actors who might be involved in such a conflict, for example Russia and China, are not significant players in this drama."

The Atlantic reports a similar rhetoric, quoting Ariane Tabatabai - a scholar who has studied Iran's military doctrine, who says Iran is aware they are no military match for America.

"Tehran’s solution has been to engage with the United States asymmetrically, including influence operations and, more recently, cyber activities," suggested Tabatabai.

With AAP. 

Feature Image: Getty.

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